Hola people, Ever wondered how’s the beach trek look like? Ever curious how do beach and trek are related? Well, if you have the curious question then this blog post is for your curious mind. Gokarna is a beautiful blend of beaches and hills. It is well known for its clean beaches of Arabian sea and series of western ghats hills surrounding them. In short – Gokarna beach trek is all about hiking from one beach to another to find new horizons through the rocky and rustic trails of forests. Ready to explore Gokarna beaches? Here we go 🙂
Gokarna beach trek is a DIY trek
Yes, you heard it right! Gokarna is a complete Do It Yourself trek. With that I mean, do not choose any trekking company like Thrillophilia to do this simple trek. A group of friends or even solo backpackers can hike without any hassles. The trek trails are well defined and there is no chance of missing out. Moreover, you will get to more freedom to explore the charm of Gokarna. You would thank me later for this advice 😀 The trek trail I would suggest anyone is from Paradise beach to Gokarna beach. Read on to find out why. I would write more in detail on how to DIY the Gokarna beach trek.
Brief about Gokarna
Gokarna is a small village in coastal Karnataka (Kumta, Uttara Kannada district). It is popular for the Mahabaleshwara temple which houses the Lord Shiva Atmalinga, which Ravana received as a boon!. Almost a decade now, Gokarna has been attracting travellers towards its pristine beaches and hippie vibes. The beaches here are underrated but far better than Goa. The foreign hippies have made Gokarna their home from months together. Gokarna is definitely an offbeat destination to unwind and refresh.
Arriving at Gokarna
Gokarna is around 500kms from Bengaluru. Direct sleeper buses are available from Bengaluru to Gokarna costing Rs. 700 one way. I recommend booking the bus over renting taxis to Gokarna. On a Friday evening, I boarded the bus to Gokarna, as the journey is too long, I reached Gokarna in the morning around 10 am. The climate was quite pleasant but slightly humid. Quickly boarded an auto and checked into the Gokarna Sahasa stay, 2.5kms from the bus stand. This shack is opposite to Gokarna beach and offers basic facilities. I chose this only to experience the tented stay on the shore. With the sun high already, I got quickly refreshed. With good breakfast, I was all set to explore the beaches. I dropped off the luggage here and carried only necessary stuff along with the packed lunch. If you prefer non-tented stay, I would recommend Zostel which is near to both Gokarna beach and Kudle beach.
Gokarna beach trek
The Gokarna beach trek confines to hike along the west coast covering 5 beaches. The total trek distance is around 8.5 km and should take 4 to 5 hours with a normal pace. The stretch can be hiked from north to south or vice versa. I recommend starting from south to north.
- Paradise beach
- Half-moon beach
- Om beach
- Kudle beach
- Gokarna beach
This is because for two reasons
- If you really want to witness magical sunset, it should be in Kudle / Gokarna beaches. Because only these beaches face the west and others face the south.
- The whole trek is a day trek and after the sun sets it’s not recommended to still wander in the isolated beaches. Follow this trail so that you can cover the farther beaches first and relax near the popular beaches for sunset
Boarded an auto to Belekan beach for 150 bucks, which is around 20mins. This marks the trek start point. Belekan beach is a rocky beach and we start hiking towards Paradise beach. The trail is through the thick green forests and only whispering of birds accompanied the footsteps. An alternative way to reach Paradise beach is via ferry motorboat which runs from Om beach which costs around Rs.200 per head. Around 35 mins of a continuous easy hike, we witnessed the first glimpse of the horizon. It is a treat to watch the horizon at a great height. A wow moment captured 🙂
As the name says it all! It’s absolutely a paradise for a secluded beach holiday with palm trees. You wont believe that the Paradise beach is just 150m and the beautiful hills and rocks surround almost 70% of this beach. Paradise beach has murals and graffiti paintings all over giving the hippie vibes. In fact, Paradise beach used to a home for hippies but it was misused by weed consumption. Due to which the government doesn’t allow camping here after sundown and there are no shacks also present. The waves are quite strong, so it’s better to be careful at this beach. This is a picturesque spot for beautiful pictures 🙂
The trail to Half-moon beach is quite tricky because it is more of rock climbing and the last few minutes is via the forest. So good shoes/sandals are mandatory here. After hiking for around 45 mins, we reached the Half-moon beach called so because of its shape. The beach is known for its sparkling sand and high tides. There are one or two basic shacks here which are run by localites, who offer stay. It is actually isolated and not recommended to stay sundown. Played on the beach for a while but not too deep. Beers are available here at a 20% higher cost. If you have less time, then spend less time on this beach and move on.
This trail is the most beautiful trails of all. The trail is along the steep mountains just along the sea with cocunuts trees and palms. Every ascend gives a great view of the horizons and the mountains. Stop by occasionally to enjoy the picturesque views. Almost 50mins of the trek led us to the Om beach viewpoint. This is the point from which the OM symbol can be noticed. The Parvathi rocks – rocky formation in the centre divides the beach into two halves. This viewpoint is the best way to get a glimpse of the entire beach.
OM beach is very popular and attracts a major crowd, due to which the shacks here are quite expensive. Namastey cafe here is a must-visit but known for its slow service. One can notice lot of hippie foreigners at Ganesh cafe relaxing with beers. Water sports are also available here like banana ride and motorboats. But the OM beach faces south if you have to witness the sunset and then start soon to Kudle beach. OM beach is also connected via road, so you can come down to this beach directly via rented bike if not on beach trek.
Kudle beach is my favourite because for magical sunsets and less crowded compared to OM beach. It is a small beach yet beautiful. After a hike of around 30 mins through the stairs and hills, we reached Kudle beach. I waited here for sunset while the beach became alive with more families coming in. Frisbees and Volleyballs were flying high. It was relaxing to sit and sync to the sea waves. While I waited I got the silk braid plating done and also bought few bracelets at a bargained price. The sunset at Kudle beach was good but not perfect though because of the clouds and drizzling climate. Otherwise, I have witnessed magical sunsets in Gokarna. The shacks here are less expensive. Do check out the Little paradise Inn for good food. From Kudle to Gokarna, the path is slightly isolated, so if you don’t have torches, then continue hiking to Gokarna beach and watch the sunset in Gokarna beach.
After sunset, we started heading back to Gokarna beach. From Kulde beach, we have to hike for 3 mins in the muddy trails to reach the road. From here you can either hire a rickshaw or walk to Gokarna beach. The Gokarna beach is open long beach, one part being used by pilgrims and another side is full of tourists. There are flea markets near Gokarna beach temple side. Choose to bargain if you are planning to buy stuff here. After reaching the stay, it rained heavily due to which the bonfire was cancelled. We had sumptuous dinner and waited till midnight for the rains to stop. Then we walked on the beach and played lit frisbees and enjoyed the time.
More posts on Gokarna coming soon 🙂
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